Last summer, when we purchased a Nintendo DS very few other children in our neighborhood seemed to own one. A cousin had one, and another cousin had a Sony PSP, but that seemed to be geared to older children. We had been lusting over the DS at the local, independent video game, CD, DVD, magazine store. The owner had been as fascinated as we were at the popularity of the DS games over the PSPs.
But now, not even a year later, many of the boys at the latest slumber party or camp-in events that our family has been involved in have brought their DS players and games. They didn't seem to have planned this. It's just that it happened. They played each other's games, helped some get over difficult hurdles that others could finessed, and text messaged every one in the room. The limited range of the wi-fi-style text messaging baffles me, but it must serve some kind of need.
At school last week, the kids could bring in special items if they donated a $1 a day to the local children's hospital fund. Last Friday was bring a video game or CD player. One girl brought her iDog extreme attached to a CD player. Most of the kids seemed to have DS players. Two of the most unlikeliest kids (a boy and a girl) had PSP players. I label them unlikely because the PSP players are more expensive and the games are more sophisticated. I didn't think the two children quite fit into the typical PSP demographic. But who knows?
Still, the taking over the DS world is fascinating and has been swift.
Even more breathtakingly fast has been the kids' involvement with Webkinz. A typical girl seems to have 10. The latest thing to buy on Webkinz is a bathtub to give your animals a bath. So many online webkinz got baths that I finally decided it was time for a child's Real World shower. Because it would make him "cleaner, happier and healthier, too!"